Mother of Arcadia
By Peter Murphy

In Arcadia forest, near Bunbury in Western Australia, sits an ancient jarrah tree named Mother.

Over the millennium she watched, as Nyoongar hunting parties - flushed-out roo and wallaby to spear; taking fresh meat back to their families.

One Hundred and Fifty years ago she watched, as white fella's axe - prised open her stringy skin, but on finding her bones too hard to penetrate; left her for another day.

Sixty years ago she watched, as white fella's chainsaw - loudly fell her surrounding children, but because of her greatness; left her for another day.

A decade ago she watched, as white fella - lit a fire to burn the strewn remains of her children, her stringy skin catching alight with flames licking at her old bones; but she lived another day.

Last week she watched, as white fella - smeared her gnarly old skin with paint; indicating she was a safety-risk to a new generation of loggers.

Yesterday she listened, as a young white fella named Ben - hugged her, and whispered to her; that he would protect her from the loggers.

Today she watches in sadness, as Ben is arrested by police, and dragged away.

Tomorrow she anxiously awaits - listening for the bulldozer- the blade wider than her 4-metre girth, which will push and push, until she no longer stands, as Mother of Arcadia.